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Idah to the rescue with Celtic’s lucky escape

Celtic scrambled to a 2-1 victory over Hibs thanks to two penalties from Adam Idah.

The loan signing from Norwich showed nerves of steel to bury both penalties, the first after a five minute delay as Alistair Johnston was stretchered off followed by another delay for a VAR decision as the clock ticked past 90.

In-between there was little to be encouraged by as Celtic struggled badly in the wide areas with Hibs able to close down space and limit chances for the visitors.

As the team travels back along the M8 to Glasgow they have a three point lead but before they face Kilmarnock on February 17 Philippe Clement’s side will have been in action twice and could go three points ahead.

When the team was announced at 6.45pm it revealed that Brendan Rodgers had made four changes to the side that had dropped two points away to Aberdeen.

Stephen Welsh replaced Maik Nawrocki in defence but the main source of interest was in attack where a brand new front trio were selected.

Liel Abada and Luis Palma could have no complaints about being dropped, unfortunately their replacements- Daizen Maeda and Nicolas Kuhn- made little impact and were substituted as Celtic chased a winner in the closing stages.

Johnston was the victim of a sickening collision in the fourth minute that wiped him out, as he lay motionless getting treatment Idah claimed the ball, taking responsibility for an early penalty in his first start.

As David Marshall dived to his right the on loan striker struck the ball the other way, Celtic had the perfect star but once again they failed to build on it. Convert their superior possession onto the scoresheet.

When Dylan Levitt clipped home a low 20 yarder on the hour mark the game turned around, Hibs gained confidence as they probed at a nervy Celtic side who had Joe Hart to thank for keeping the score level.

In the 88th minute Celtic broke down the right, the ball was fed inside to Kyogo Furuhashi who rushed his shot as Joe Newall slid in late to the striker.

After a lengthy review Andrew Dallas on VAR duty suggested that Nick Walsh should have a look at the pitchside monitor, when he returned he pointed to the penalty spot with Idah again put in the spotlight.

This time Marshall dived to his left, again the ball went the other way, after the seventh minute of stoppage time taking the game past 90 minutes Celtic could claim the points with relief the overwhelming emotion for all concerned.

CLICK HERE for Rodgers praise for new bhoy Idah.

CLICK HERE for SPFL minute by minute text report.

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